Culinary Schools

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by mosrherz, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. mosrherz


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    I Just Like Food
    I really like the New England Culinary Institute but I am a bit nervous as their selection process is very strict from what it sounds like. I personally do not have any professional kitchen experience so I have begun to volunteer at my local city mission in the kitchen. To gain experience.

    As a cook, I love doing it and I definitely know that I can take it further as a career. Sadly the town I live in doesn't have any good places that I can work at to gain valuable experience in the kitchen.

    So I am curious, how hard is it to get into NECI? What do I exactly need to do in order to get accepted into this school? I am planning to go for the certificate program as that's about as much as financial aid will help me out with. I would love to take an assoc degree but it's 72K with room and board. So that's definitely out of the water.

    The reason why I want to join NECI is because it is hands on and no classroom work. The other reason I like it is; because you get to deal with the local farmers and build relationships. 

    But I am not dead set on NECI. If any of you know any other good recommendations for culinary schools out there that have more hands on training than anything else, I am all ears.

    I've checked out CIA, but you need at least 1 year in the kitchen. (So that's out of the question)

    Sorry for the long post and my horrible grammar, sentence structure. :)

    Thanks for all the help.

  2. jim berman

    jim berman

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    Professional Chef
    Welcome to ChefTalk!

    I think, as you root around this site, you will find many passionate opinions about specific schools and even school itself. That said, gather everything you can about particular venues. Specifically, talk with grads, current students, make visits, do some internet research (keeping in mind the ability for anybody to say anything they way) and then make an informed decision. As you said, it is a costly investment (or mistake!) so make a wise choice. Additionally, be sure you have all the facts. For instance, from the classes I took @ NECI, "no classroom work" is not completely accurate. There is (was?) a very distinct and mutually functional compliment of theory and applied learning.

    Best wishes with your adventure in learning!
  3. automne


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    Pastry Chef
    I'm actually starting in NECI in April; I would recommend at least trying out. The admissions staff is incredibly helpful and they have a personal chat page on their website if you want to talk one-on-one with somebody. I don't have a lot of kitchen experience, though I did work in food service.

    It's like applying to any college. Focus on the essay because that's going to say more about you than anything else on the application. I would also suggest actually talking to a representative because that will give you a leg up. Because I had talked to somebody before applying, I bypassed the required interview before any admittance decision is made. I went the honest route on mine (but I'm doing an associate degree, so my essay topic and length is different from certificate-seeking students).